6 larger sized Japanese eggplant, peeled
6 tbsp olive oil
Salt, fresh ground black pepper
1 small brown onion, sliced
2 clove garlic, sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sweet, smoked paprika
Pinch chili flakes
1 tin chopped tomato
1 tin cherry tomatoes
1 tin butterbeans, drained, rinsed well
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Juice ½ lemon
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp za’atar
½ cup natural yoghurt
Pomegranate molasses to drizzle
Preheat an oven to 190C.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan (note- this pan should also be able to go in an oven) over a medium/high heat. Brush the peeled eggplants with 3 tbsp of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them in the pan and cook, turning them until golden and soft, which should take about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Keep the pan over a medium heat and add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic and a god pinch of salt. Cook this for 3 minutes, stirring, then add the tomato paste, paprika and chilli. Cook for 2 more minutes then add the tomatoes and 250ml of water. Season and bring to the boil. Return the eggplants to the pan and gently mix with the sauce. Cover with baking paper and transfer the pan to the oven to cook for approx. 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir through the butterbeans, parsley and lemon.
To serve, spoon the eggplants and ragu onto serving plates, top with pine nuts, za’atar, yoghurt and molasses.
Cous cous, rice or crusty bread to serve, optional.